If there is one area the Doogee Mix clearly shoots above its price range, it has to be design. Sure, we could sit here all day and ridicule the Chinese manufacturer for its obvious Xiaomi Mi Mix aspirations. Or, make fun of the rather corny "Mini + Max = Mix" PR justification for the Mix branding. As in: "Minimum Size, Maximum Screen";
That's the things, though, Doogee clearly drew some inspiration for the trendy bezeless design, but then gave it a rather ambitious spin of its own. The sub-$200 Mix was meant to bring the fresh new look to the masses at a much more affordable price point than Xiaomi's bigger phone. Again, there is plenty of room for nitpicking with technicalities, concerning bezels and the definition of "bezel-less", but overall, the desired design effect is undoubtedly present and actually pretty impressive.
As far as specifics go, the 5.5-inch panel of the Doogee Mix is indeed a few mm shy of touching the edges. On the sides, there are about 2mm of colored bezel, with a slight 2.5D effect on the glass, followed by another two or so of black internal bezels around the panel itself. Because of the Super AMOLED panel, these are hardly visible when displaying darker images and don't really look off-putting at all.
Perhaps some of the visual appeal can be attributed to the equally thin top bezel. Despite its limited size, Doogee actually managed to fit a proper earpiece in it - frankly a big step up from the technologically advanced but not very efficient vibration solution on the Xiaomi Mi Mix. Not only that, but there was even room for a light, proximity and gesture sensor above the display.
This snug fit actually makes the DOGEE Mix one of the most compact 5.5-inchers out there, with a body comparable to that of a 5-inch device (144mm tall, 76.2mm wide and 7.95). Just like on its Xiaomi sibling, though, this means a lot of hardware needs to be relocated under the display, hence the thicker bottom bezel. Unlike the Mi Mix, however, the Doogee does feature a single capacitive touch control (not an actual button, though) to accompany its on-screen controls.
The manufacturer refers to it as a DTouch module and pressing it acts like a back button. It also houses a fingerprint reader, which is perfectly satisfactory in both speed and accuracy, especially when you remember you're getting it as part of a $200 phone.
The selfie camera is also on the bottom bezel, near the bottom right corner. This is actually a pretty conventional location once you get used to the fact that you simply need to hold the phone upside down to use it properly.
To finish off the front, we have a layer of Gorilla Glass 5 on top for protection - another impressive extra at this price point. We are missing a notification LED though and the ever so slightly slanted edges mean it's not possible to put a glass screen protectors on this one.
Doogee actually ships the Mix with a soft screen protector pre-applied on both the front and back. You even get an extra one in the box. However, these are low quality and entirely too small. Speaking of the package, it is impressively sturdy and premium on the outside and full of accessories inside. Besides the already mentioned protector, you get a plastic hard case and in some cases, even a Doogee-branded ring-style phone holder. We received a USB thumb drive in our package instead, but since it was filled with review guides and promo clips, you can probably expect to get the ring.
While on the topic of package, we will note that a wall charger is included and so is a micro USB cable. The brick is a fairly plain 5V/2A one, since the Doogee Mix doesn't really support any form of fast charging beyond that.
Back to the hardware tour, the back of the phone is really clean and looks quite premium, thanks to the large piece of Gorilla Glass 5 glass covering it. You would have to use jeweler's gloves if you ever want to see it smudge-free though. We can only hope Doogee used the same material to cover the two cameras as well, since the assembly sticks out a bit and could potentially be susceptible to scratching.
The bezels are actually metal and benefit from something Doogee calls "A micron scale Vacuum ion plating technology ... to bring colorful and high-intensive body". We have to agree with the colorful claim, since the Aurora Blue color we got for review really stands out. We are sure the Coral Blue and Dazzle Black options are just as smashing.
We have to say Doogee has done a pretty impressive job of hiding the four plastic antenna inserts along the top and bottom edges, at least as far as color is concerned. The build quality is actually pretty impressive.
Just two final notes, before we move on: only one of the grills at the bottom of the Doogee Mix houses a speaker, the other one is for the microphone. Also, at 193 grams, the Mix is definitely on the heavy side. It comes off as particularly heavy, relative to its size.
|Speakerphone test||Voice, dB||Ringing ||Overall score|
The Doogee Mix sports a respectable 3,380 mAh battery. This is not huge by any stretch of the imagination. It doesn't really charge quickly either, since it can only take 2A@5V. Even so, you can expect a full charging to take around two hours, which is not that bad.
What is bad, however, is the poor use the Doogee Mix makes of its power. In theory, the 16nm Helio P20 chip, coupled with an efficient and low-res Super AMOLED display should spell out stellar endurance. In practice, however, that is not the case. And judging by the terribly low web browsing endurance, we feel pretty confident in blaming the OS and its poor optimization.
Mind you, we conducted the test a couple of extra times with Chrome and with the default Doogee browser in hopes of getting better scores. Other than that, however, the Doogee Mix pretty much hit its target in standby and call time, as set by the Sony Xperia XA1 Ultra, which uses a similar Helio P20 chip. The XA1 Ultra, however, has a bigger and less efficient LCD screen than the Mix and a smaller battery. So, there is clearly a lot of room for improvement.
The display situation is a mixed bag. Still, we can't really fault Doogee for cutting some corners for the sake of cost efficiency. Or rather, cutting A corner, namely the 720p resolution. Still, there are some upsides to that decision as well - mainly benefits to battery life and on-screen graphics performance.
Other than that, we've professed our liking of AMOLED technology on many occasions in the past. And as far as vendors go, Samsung arguably leaves most of the competition in the dust with its signature Super AMOLED variety.
With a peak brightness on 385 nits, the Doogee Mix is far from a record breaker, but it still gets bright enough plus those infinitely deep blacks for which AMOLED is so sought after. Taking a wild guess here, we think the panel Doogee bought comes close in specs to that on Samsung's Galaxy J5 (2016) or J5 (2015) model.
|Display test||100% brightness|
|Black, cd/m2||White, cd/m2|
Sunlight legibility seems to add more credibility to that hypothesis as well. Again, the Doogee Mix is no chart-topper but it remains perfectly usable outdoors.
If color accuracy is what you are after, then the Doogee Mix is probably not the right choice for you. Despite our best efforts, we only managed to bring the average deltaE down to 10.4 and the average to around 6. Overall, Doogee's color pallet of choice is a bit too cold.
Luckily, you can fix that, since the device offers a color temperature slider. In fact, the Mix is jam packed with fine tuning controls for the display. If you don't mind living or actually happen to prefer the "punchier" signature AMOLED color rendition, you can pretty much tweak absolutely everything else to your liking.
As for those looking for our best bet on a color profile, after multiple colorimeter tests, your best bet seems to be to lower the color temperature by two levels and leave the brightness at about 74%. Coincidentally, that's the setting that got us as close as possible to the 200 nits standard we use for our battery tests.